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MLB Rangers Draft Preview: Pitcher Nate Pearson

Texas has the No. 26 and No. 29 picks in the first round

A road trip to the Washington, D.C. and Houston isn’t the only thing on the mind of those in the Rangers front office this week. There are also ongoing discussions and analysis in preparation for Monday’s MLB Draft. Texas has the No. 26 pick.

Many draft projections has Texas taking College of Central Florida pitcher Nate Pearson, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound righty who doesn’t turn 21 until August. His fastball was reported to be around 97 mph all spring with the all-important ability to throw strikes with it as well.

There are some worries among MLB scouts about the inconsistency concerning his secondary pitches. Pearson throws a slider and a curve but also has two different variations of a change-up. However, many scouts believe he may stick with just one version once he enters the professional ranks.

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During his bullpen session for MLB scouts on Memorial Day, Pearson brought the heat. He topped out at 102 mph with the fastball with some scouts clocking in at 103. His slider sat at 85-89 with the changeup between 90-92.

Pearson was 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched in his 13 starts at Central Florida and was named the Rawlings JUCO Pitcher of the Year by Perfect Game. He’s also one of 25 semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.

The Rangers also have the No. 29 pick in the first round, which is a compensatory pick for losing Ian Desmond.

As for the rest of the draft board for the following rounds, Texas has the No. 66 pick in the second round, No. 104 in the third round and No. 134 in the fourth round.

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